Boating Responsibly Tips
- Make sure your boat is in top operating condition and that there are no tripping hazards. Your boat should be free of fire hazards and have clean bilges.
- Carry safety equipment required by law on board, maintained in good condition, and know how to properly use these devices including signaling and sound-making devices.
- File a float plan with a relative or friend. In case of an emergency, they'll have pertinent information, allowing them to contact the local marine police or Coast Guard with necessary details.
- Have a complete knowledge of the operation and handling characteristics of your boat.
- Know your position and where you are going. Learn how your GPS works and carry a nautical chart in case you can’t use your GPS system.
- Maintain a safe speed at all times to avoid collision. You must always operate your vessel at a safe controlled speed.
- Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions and act accordingly. Tune in your radio to receive weather updates.
- Know and practice the navigation rules. Know and obey federal and state regulations and waterway markers.
- Maintain a clear, unobstructed view forward at all times. “scan” the water and avoid “tunnel” vision. Most boating collisions are caused by inattention.
Video courtesy of Boat-Ed.com.
Learn more about different types of Buoys and Markers in our next section.